AFC East: Colin Brown

How much does size matter?

To the Buffalo Bills, quite a lot. On Tuesday, we noted how the Bills have the NFL's tallest group of receivers. That's just one position, but it's not the only spot where the Bills top the league's charts -- at least on paper.

The Bills also have the NFL's heaviest offensive line, and it's barely even a contest. The average weight of their 15 offensive linemen is 325.2 pounds, far and away the biggest group in the league. Only the Oakland Raiders, at 320.3 pounds, come close.

Unlike at receiver, where most of the team's height is concentrated in players at the bottom of the depth chart, the Bills have both starting linemen and developmental blockers who break the scales.

Left tackle Cordy Glenn, who has started 29 games since being drafted in the second round two years ago, is listed at 345 pounds, making him the fourth-heaviest offensive lineman currently on an NFL roster. He's tied with rookie Seantrel Henderson, the Bills' seventh-round pick, who also checks in at 345 pounds.

In addition to Henderson, the Bills added 343-pound Cyril Richardson in the fifth round earlier this month. Ideally, Richardson and Henderson will both stick on the 53-man roster and could have eventually have potential to start.

The two draft picks are the latest in a pipeline of massive offensive linemen that general manager Doug Whaley has brought to Buffalo. They're projects for coach Doug Marrone, a former offensive line coach, as well as Pat Morris, the Bills' current offensive line coach.

The Bills ended last season with a trio of developmental guards who are on the larger side: Antoine McClain (336 pounds), Mark Asper (325 pounds), and J.J. Unga (320 pounds). Whaley plucked Unga off the Baltimore Ravens' practice squad, while McClain was claimed off waivers from the Raiders. All three may have an uphill battle to make the cut this season.

No matter who the Bills keep of their current bunch of 15, the size of the group will be striking. It's Whaley's vision to beat his opponents with superior size, and he'll have plenty of it along his offensive line this season.

But will it make the difference? Much like the Bills' ongoing expedition to find a productive, tall wide receiver, the Bills' super-sized offensive line will need to show that their eye-opening height and weight figures printed on the roster are more than just numbers.

The results will need to come on the field before Whaley's strategy can be given the stamp of approval. Take last season for instance. The Bills gave Colin Brown -- a mountain of a man, at 6-foot-7 and 326 pounds -- the nod at left guard to start the regular season. He struggled in five starts and was finding new work by October, replaced by an undersized Doug Legursky.

The Bills should be leery of a similar outcome with Chris Williams, a free agent whom they signed to a four-year deal in March. Williams, who is 6-foot-6 and 326 pounds, has a shaky track record as an NFL starter. He'll slide in at left guard. Could Buffalo be a good fit for him? Of course. But if it isn't, Legursky will be the likely fallback option.

Pass protection will be another consideration. Size and brute strength work well in the running game, especially in power blocking schemes, but technique and athleticism come more into play in the passing game. Glenn handled EJ Manuel's blindside well last season but there were breakdowns elsewhere. With new starters possible at both left guard and right tackle, keeping Manuel upright will be key this season.

In the meantime, the Bills have another distinction to celebrate. With rosters nearly complete after the draft, the Bills have emerged with the NFL's premier size at both receiver and offensive line.

Now they have to show why that matters, on the field -- where it counts.

Legursky wins Bills' LG job; Brown cut

October, 15, 2013
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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills on Tuesday released offensive lineman Colin Brown, solidifying Doug Legursky's hold on the starting job at left guard.

Legursky
Brown started the first five games of the regular season in place of Legursky, who injured his knee in the preseason finale. Legursky returned Sunday and started and played 83 percent of offensive snaps against Cleveland.

"I thought Doug did a nice job in there for just coming back," coach Doug Marrone said Monday. "Colin has struggled before, and we did play Doug much more than we did Colin."

To replace Brown, the Bills promoted offensive lineman Mark Asper from the practice squad. He joins guard Antoine McClain, who was claimed off waivers last week, and tackle Thomas Welch as reserve options along the offensive line.

Here's a recap of the Bills' roster moves over the past two days:

Monday
Signed QB Matt Flynn
Placed S Jonathan Meeks on injured reserve/designation to return

Tuesday
Released G Colin Brown
Promoted OL Mark Asper from practice squad
Released OLB Jamie Blatnick from practice squad
Signed OL Bryant Browning to practice squad
Signed LB Jacquies Smith to practice squad
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- As expected, the Buffalo Bills listed offensive lineman Doug Legursky as limited in his return to practice Wednesday.

Legursky
Legursky said he suffered an MCL injury in the Aug. 29 preseason finale. He was carted off the field, but the injury wound up being less severe than it first looked.

"I've had an MCL [injury] before. I knew that the [MCL] was part of my knee injury. I didn't know how extensive it was other than that," Legursky said Wednesday. "Once it was just [the MCL], I knew the road map, how to get back healthy, just as I've done it many times in my career. As have a lot of other players. That's a pretty common injury."

The sixth-year lineman said it's still too early to say when he'll return to game action, but so far it's the quickest he's recovered from this specific injury.

"As far as already doing individual [drills], it's the fastest I've ever come back from an MCL," Legursky said.

Until Legursky is back to full strength, the Bills remain thin along their offensive line. Legursky should slide into the top interior reserve role once he returns.

As for resuming his competition with Colin Brown to start at left guard, head coach Doug Marrone said that decision will have to wait.

"I think Colin Brown is our starting left guard, and we'll evaluate Doug when he gets back," he said.

PFF: Colin Brown earns worst Week 1 grade

September, 11, 2013
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The Buffalo Bills had an open competition at left guard during training camp to replace Andy Levitre, who departed through free agency.

Brown
After cycling several players through the position, fourth-year veteran Colin Brown was tabbed as the starter. He started all four preseason games and continued in that role for Sunday's loss to the New England Patriots.

But according to ProFootballFocus.com, which grades every player on each play, Brown finished with the worst aggregate grade Insider of any in the NFL for Week 1.
When people said that the Bills' left guard spot was a problem area, they weren't lying, were they? Brown beat out Doug Legursky for the starting job (which isn't the hardest thing in the world to do) and promptly did his best to force his coaches to reconsider their decision. In a week that saw some terrible guard play, his took pride of place, giving up a hit and three hurries and being punished against the run. If you could see our grading sheet, you'd see a lot of "stood up at point of attack" next to the name of Brown, who was no match for Vince Wilfork.

If the Bills agree with the assessment -- it's worth noting that head coach Doug Marrone has a background as offensive-line coach and continues to work closely with that unit in practice -- they have few other options.

Legursky remains on the active roster but is out indefinitely with a knee injury. That leaves the Bills without a traditional backup guard/center option. Buffalo's lone reserve options on the offensive line are Sam Young and Thomas Welch, whose backgrounds are mostly at tackle.
When Buffalo Bills guard Doug Legursky was carted off the field during the third quarter of Thursday's preseason finale, even coach Doug Marrone admitted his knee injury looked bad.

Legursky
"It doesn't look good," Marrone said after the game. "Right now, I'm thinking, without hearing it, without it being evaluated, that it's probably major."

However, the deadline to cut the roster to 53 players came and went Saturday, and Legursky remained on the roster.

On Sunday, Marrone confirmed that Legursky may have dodged serious injury.

"It's not long-term because we didn't put him on IR," Marrone said. "It's a positive sign [but] I still think it will be some time."

The initial thought was that the Bills were keeping Legursky on the active roster in order to place him on injured reserve with a designation to return. Doing so allows a player to come back after eight weeks, but they must first make the cut to 53 players.

But Marrone said the Bills won't put Legursky on that list, since they believe he could be back before Week 9.

Legursky, who was signed in June to compete with Colin Brown for the open left guard spot, likely will be the top interior backup on the Bills' offensive line upon his return.
Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Doug Legursky was carted off late in the third quarter of Thursday's preseason finale with an apparent leg injury.

Legursky was hit in the side of his left calf by a falling Lions defender at the end of a run. He immediately grabbed for his left knee and was later carted off the field.

The Bills signed Legursky, 27, in June to compete for their open left-guard spot. Veteran Colin Brown looks to have that starting job locked up, but Legursky, who can also play center, was primed for the top interior backup spot.

Legursky has played in 50 career games (making 17 starts) over his first four NFL seasons, all with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is the Bills' second-most-experienced offensive lineman, after right tackle Erik Pears.

In his place, the Bills could turn to Antoine Caldwell (fifth season) or David Snow (second season) as their top interior reserve.
After being flagged nine times in their preseason opener, penalties became an even bigger problem for the Buffalo Bills in last Friday's win over the Minnesota Vikings.

Called for 14 accepted penalties in that game, the Bills have been penalized 23 times through two preseason games, the most of any NFL team.

While it's not a distinction the Bills want, head coach Doug Marrone stressed Monday that all penalties aren't created equally. In some cases, flags thrown for over-aggressive play can be tolerated, he said.

"I think people tend to look at the number at the end of the game. I tend to cut them all out and evaluate them all," Marrone said. "Was this forced by us just being aggressive? Is it a penalty forced on us not being focused? I think you have to manage those as a coach because you can overmanage a situation and lose that aggressiveness in a player."

Several of the Bills' penalties through two games fall into that category. First-year defensive backs Nickell Robey (offside, defensive pass interference), Jumal Rolle (holding, twice), and Dominique Ellis (illegal block above the waist, twice) have all been flagged multiple times this preseason, and their infractions can be attributed to their inexperience.

But some flags, like a holding penalty by guard Colin Brown in the red zone, have come at critical times.

"When we work on those drills and we work on those situations we have to constantly remind ourselves of that and really up our focus because we don’t want any penalties down there [in the red zone], and they hurt," Marrone said.

Regardless of the situation, some other penalties have been inexcusable: Second-year cornerback Ron Brooks was called for taunting in the preseason opener, while fourth-year receiver Marcus Easley was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct against the Vikings.

"I get very upset; the players know I get very upset, with more of the unforced errors," Marrone said. "Meaning that, not trying to make a play through a ball, but jumping offside and things like that. Those are things you can truly control and I think that’s where I would use the word frustration."

Ups and downs for Bills

August, 17, 2013
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Revisiting Friday night's win over Minnesota by highlighting those Buffalo Bills players whose performance was "up," and those who fell into the opposite end of the spectrum:

UP

Chris Hogan: Continues to show up on offense, targeted a team-high seven times and finishing with a game-high four catches. Is docked, however, for a face-mask penalty early in the first quarter.

Jerry Hughes: Starting in place of Mario Williams, has two sacks and a forced fumble, leading a four-sack effort from the Bills.

EJ Manuel: Enters the game at the start of the second half and leads the Bills on an 80-yard touchdown drive. Isn't spectacular, but continues to avoid making critical mistakes.

Garrison Sanborn: Long snapper -- yes, the long snapper -- has two special-teams tackles (both on punts).

Robert Woods: Has a key 22-yard catch on a scoring drive late in the first half, and adds a 34-yard punt return in the second quarter.

DOWN

Colin Brown: Starts at left guard for a second straight game, but commits costly holding penalty in the red zone late in the first half.

Kevin Kolb: Has his first chance to outplay Manuel in a game, and finishes with a 55.9 quarterback rating, including an interception.

Nickell Robey: Undrafted rookie starts at cornerback but is flagged for defensive pass interference to extend a Vikings scoring drive in the first quarter, and is penalized for being offside in the second quarter.

Da'Rick Rogers: Rookie receiver is stuck at bottom of the depth chart, remaining on the sideline as DeMarco Sampson and others see late-game action.

Observation deck: Bills-Vikings

August, 16, 2013
8/16/13
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Observations from the Buffalo Bills' 20-16 preseason win over the Minnesota Vikings on Friday night:

Kolb gets his chance, plays full half: In his first action of the preseason, Kevin Kolb played the entire first half, finishing 13-of-21 passing for 111 yards and an interception. The Bills always have said they would give both Kolb and rookie EJ Manuel a fair shot at the starting job, and tonight might have been Kolb's best chance to prove himself. The results weren't overly positive, although Kolb led the Bills offense on two scoring drives late in the first half, looking more comfortable than he did in the early stages of the game.

Buffalo BillsManuel again solid, but not spectacular: Manuel entered the game at the start of the second half and led the Bills on an 80-yard touchdown drive, completing all six of his passes for 44 yards. More importantly, Manuel did not throw an interception for a second consecutive game. However, the Bills (or Manuel) opted not to take any shots downfield, something they are expected to incorporate into their offense this season. Instead, many of Manuel's throws were in the short range, but he did complete a 27-yard pass to rookie receiver Brandon Kaufman in the third quarter. Manuel also had the benefit of playing against the Vikings' second-team defense.

Penalties becoming a major issue: The Bills were flagged 14 times for 106 yards in the contest, one week after being penalized nine times against the Indianapolis Colts. The flags have to be a growing concern for head coach Doug Marrone, especially considering nine of them came in the first half, when many of his starters were still in the game. Among the flags was a key holding call in the red zone against Colin Brown, who made his second consecutive start at left guard. In what remains an open battle, that won't help his case.

Defense generating pressure: The Bills' defense kept the pressure on Vikings quarterbacks throughout the game, finishing with four sacks for 38 yards. Outside linebacker Jerry Hughes had two sacks, including a sack and forced fumble of Matt Cassel in the second quarter.

Hogan, young receivers making strides: First-year receiver Chris Hogan continued to stand out for the Bills, playing nearly the entire game. Hogan was the team's leading receiver with four catches for 34 yards and was targeted a team-high seven times. Meanwhile, Kaufman and Marcus Easley continue to be second-half standouts, with five catches for 91 yards between them. Undrafted rookie Da'Rick Rogers had a quiet night, being targeted twice and making one catch for six yards. On special teams, second-round pick Robert Woods returned a punt 34 yards, one week after third-round pick Marquise Goodwin had two long kickoff returns.

Mario sits out: Defensive end Mario Williams (foot) dressed but was announced as an inactive for the game. He played in two series in the preseason opener, and the Bills continue to manage the health this preseason of their highest-paid player.

What's next: The Bills return to St. John Fisher College for their final four practices of training camp, beginning Sunday. They travel to face the Washington Redskins in the third preseason game next Saturday.

Kolb shaky in his debut for Bills

August, 16, 2013
8/16/13
9:00
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After not playing in the preseason opener, Kevin Kolb got back into the Buffalo Bills' quarterback competition on Friday night, starting and playing the entire first half against the Minnesota Vikings.

Kolb
Kolb's results were mixed. He finished the first half 13-of-21 passing for 111 yards, but many of his completions came on check-downs to tight ends and running backs. Kolb also scrambled out of the pocket frequently, often throwing on the run.

The Bills were 2-for-9 on third down, and at one point in the second quarter Kolb was booed by some fans at Ralph Wilson Stadium after his pass to wide receiver Chris Hogan on third-and-8 fell incomplete.

Kolb also threw an interception in the first quarter, although his pass, intended for rookie receiver Marquise Goodwin along the sideline, was tipped by the defender in coverage before it was caught by Vikings safety Jamarca Sanford.

Late in the first half, Kolb began to look stronger, leading the Bills on a 13-play drive that was stunted in the red zone by a holding penalty on guard Colin Brown. But Buffalo was forced to punt after Kolb couldn't connect with running back Tashard Choice on third-and-12.

After the Bills regained possession with 38 seconds left in the half, Kolb had his best drive of the game, completing back-to-back passes to push the Bills into field-goal range.

Kolb finished the first half with a 55.9 quarterback rating. He was replaced by rookie EJ Manuel at the start of the second half.

What to watch for: Bills-Colts

August, 11, 2013
8/11/13
6:00
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The Buffalo Bills open their preseason on Sunday at the Indianapolis Colts. In a rare afternoon preseason game, kickoff is at 1:30 p.m ET.

Here's what to watch for:
  1. Manuel's first chance to shine. With veteran Kevin Kolb dressing but serving only as the emergency quarterback, rookie EJ Manuel has a prime opportunity to get a leg up on the quarterback battle through the rest of the preseason. The biggest question is how much he'll play. Coach Doug Marrone refused to tip his hand on Friday night, but it wouldn't be surprising to see Manuel take the first half and another rookie, Jeff Tuel, take over for the second half.
  2. Who steps up among rookie wideouts? With Stevie Johnson (hamstring) out for at least this game, second-round pick Robert Woods and third-round pick Marquise Goodwin will get live game reps with Manuel. The Bills began their first practice of training camp with a long-ball drill; expect them to take some deep shots early on Sunday. With Brad Smith and Kevin Elliott also not expected to play due to injury, look for Chris Hogan, who has stood out thus far in camp, to see extensive action. Finally, it's worth monitoring when undrafted receiver Da'Rick Rogers enters the game; if it isn't until late, it won't help his chances of making the final cut, which is less than three weeks away.
  3. Does Hackett put his stamp on offense early? At 33, Nathaniel Hackett is one of the younger offensive coordinators in the NFL. His up-tempo, energetic personality has left its mark on the Bills' offense, which aims to wear down defenses with a speed-oriented, no-huddle approach. But if Hackett reveals too much of his strategy in preseason contests, it will give opponents an opportunity to dissect the scheme on film, so expect something more toned-down on Sunday. With Manuel seeing his first game action in the NFL, it may be best to slow the offense down until he gets comfortable.
  4. Where does the pass rush come from? Marrone said Friday that defensive end Mario Williams (foot) will be a game-time decision. At this point in the preseason, it seems unlikely the Bills would risk putting Williams on the field. After Williams, there is a significant drop-off among proven pass-rushers, something that has arguably flown under the radar in training camp. The Bills seem to be expecting big things out of Jerry Hughes, who will be returning to Indianapolis, where he was a former first-round pick. The team also appears high on Jamie Blatnick, who should see significant playing time Sunday. The first time the Colts are in a third-and-long situation, it will be worth noting who is on the field and what pressure they generate against an improved Colts offensive line.
  5. Left guard another battle to monitor: Beyond the obvious competition at quarterback, the Bills have an open left guard spot that is far from being decided. The focus will be less on who starts -- it could be Colin Brown, Doug Legursky, or someone else -- and more on how they perform when in the game. Marrone hasn't seemed satisfied with the battle so far and has been working closely with the offensive line in practice. You can bet that he will be taking a close look at the film for that position on Monday morning.

Bills add wrinkle in LG battle

August, 7, 2013
8/07/13
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After saying last week that he wasn't pleased with the competition at left guard, Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone added another layer to the battle on Wednesday.

Left tackle Cordy Glenn, who started 13 games as a rookie last season, was cross-trained at left guard for Wednesday's practice.

"We're not experimenting with him not being the left tackle," Marrone stressed. "We know that down the road from now, when we're dressing seven linemen, we'll have a swing inside player and a swing outside player. That's why we wanted to work him (at left guard) today."

Marrone hinted that it may have been a one-day move, although the Bills' uncertainty at left guard could eventually land Glenn back inside.

"I saw what I needed to see, meaning that he can do that and make the transition," Marrone said.

In Glenn's place, Thomas Welch took first-team reps at left tackle.

"We're looking at him as obviously competing for a starting position," Marrone said. "If you're not the starter, then you have to be able to swing."

On the second-team, Colin Brown took reps at left guard, while Doug Legursky moved to right guard. Both players had been splitting time at left guard on the top unit early in camp.

Passing along some other news and notes from Wednesday's practice:
  • Quarterback Kevin Kolb was not on the practice field, two days after missing Monday's scrimmage due to a death in the family. Marrone said he anticipates Kolb arriving back to training camp on Thursday night, and that the medical staff will determine if his knee, which he injured Saturday, is healthy enough to let him practice.
  • Cornerback Leodis McKelvin also did not practice, after participating in Monday's scrimmage. Marrone said McKelvin was sore and the team is "trying to be smart" about his recovery from an offseason groin injury.
  • Marrone said that safety Mana Silva, who was placed on the exempt/left squad list Tuesday, did not inform the team before leaving camp on Monday. "He did not contact me or speak to me about the decision," Marrone said. "I'm concentrating on the guys that are here." Silva will be away from the team indefinitely, per a source. "It's been very hard to try to talk somebody into playing," Marrone said Wednesday.
  • To fill Silva's roster spot, the Bills signed safety Mark LeGree on Wednesday. This is LeGree's seventh NFL team after being drafted in the fifth-round by the Seattle Seahawks in 2011. The 24-year old played at Appalachian State and will wear No. 30 with Buffalo.
  • Safety Duke Williams, who left Saturday's practice with concussion-like symptoms, was medically cleared and back on the practice field Wednesday.
  • The Bills on Wednesday announced that Antwon Bailey, Michael Grant, Matthew Scott, Jamar Nesbit and Kevin Mawae were selected as the 2013 Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship participants, and will assist the coaching staff during training camp.
Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone expressed concern with the team's competition at left guard, filling the void left by the departure of Andy Levitre this offseason.

On Friday, Doug Legursky got first-team reps at left guard in place of Colin Brown, who had seen the bulk of the action through the first four days of training camp.

The next two weeks, however, will test the options at the position.

From an X's-and-O's standpoint, the Bills' offensive line will have to prepare for three different schemes in the coming days:

Monday, Aug. 5 -- An intra-squad scrimmage means that Brown and Legursky will have to prepare for Mike Pettine's defense, which isn't a pure 3-4 or 4-3 scheme. It's also heavy on blitzes and blitz looks, which will test the left guard in their line calls and protections.

Sunday, Aug. 11 -- The Bills travel to Indianapolis, where the Colts run more of a traditional 3-4. With a nose tackle playing head-up on the center, Brown or Legursky will be "uncovered" at left guard, meaning they won't have a defensive lineman lined up against them on most plays. This creates a "bubble" on running plays, and will test the left guard's ability to move into the second-level and block inside linebackers.

Friday, Aug. 16 -- Playing their second preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings, the Bills will have their first opportunity to see a traditional, 4-3 scheme. If the Vikings choose to put them on the field, defensive tackle Kevin Williams and defensive end Jared Allen will provide a major test for the left side of the Bills' line, between Brown/Legursky and left tackle Cordy Glenn.

Looking forward, it will be worth monitoring how much of the Bills' decision at left guard is based on size. Brown (6-foot-7, 326 pounds) and Legursky (6-foot-1, 315 pounds) are essentially the largest and smallest players, respectively, on Buffalo's offensive line.

In Week 1, the Patriots will pressure the Bills' interior offensive line with their size and length: Tommy Kelly (6-foot-6, 325 pounds) and Vince Wilfork (6-foot-2, listed at 325 pounds) figure to see the bulk of playing time on the inside. While technique and ability are important considerations, if the Bills want to match size with size, then Brown could get the nod.

Bills practice update

August, 2, 2013
8/02/13
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The Buffalo Bills returned to the practice field on Friday, and the biggest news was wide receiver Stevie Johnson leaving with a left hamstring injury. Bills coach Doug Marrone said after practice that he did not know the severity of the injury, and that Johnson will be evaluated by Buffalo's doctors. The NFL Network reported Johnson will have an MRI.

"It would be a major concern when we talk about it during the season, but right now, I think a veteran player that has proven himself, we'll just see what the doctors say," Marrone said.

Tight end Mike Caussin also left practice Friday with a hip injury.

Otherwise, here are some observations from the practice, which was the Bills' fifth of training camp:
  • Defensive tackle Kyle Williams, who has been held out of team drills early in training camp while he works his way back from Achilles surgery, saw some reps during 11-on-11 drills today, according to Joe Buscaglia of WGR 550.
  • After Marrone said Wednesday that he wasn't pleased with the results of the competition at left guard, Doug Legursky took more first-team reps on Friday, in place of Colin Brown, Buscaglia noted.
  • Wide receiver Kevin Elliott, who left Wednesday's practice with a shoulder injury, remained out of action on Friday, according to Mark Gaughan of the Buffalo News.

Marrone searching for LG options

August, 1, 2013
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For the first three practices of training camp, the Buffalo Bills left guard battle looked like a no-contest: Colin Brown took all of the first-team reps, and didn't appear to have any major lapses, even after full-padded practices began.

Yet on Wednesday, Doug Legursky saw time with the first unit, reigniting a position contest that head coach Doug Marrone said Tuesday has been overlooked by some entering training camp.

Brown and Legursky are near-opposites in size: Brown stands at 6-foot-7, 326 pounds, while Legursky is the shortest of the Bills' linemen at 6-1, 315 pounds.

The two were the most experienced players in the left guard competition until Buffalo added Antoine Caldwell over the weekend. Caldwell is still getting up to speed with the Bills offense, but Marrone said Wednesday that he is looking to add another player to the left guard mix.

"It's inconsistent play out of that position," he said. "We need to become more consistent. I think that we have to look to maybe throw someone else in the mix. I don't know if I see the separation that I liked to see right now."

Including Caldwell, here is a look at who that third player might be when the Bills return to the practice field Friday:

Caldwell: With 19 career starts, Caldwell brings experience to the competition. The third-round pick of the Houston Texans in 2009 can play both guard and center.

David Snow: Second-year guard/center was an undrafted free agent from Texas. He started two games at center for the Bills, and at 6-4, 303 pounds, has the size to move outside to guard, and has seen time at the spot with the second-team in practice.

Keith Williams: A sixth-round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2011, the Nebraska product spent most of last season on the Bills' practice squad. He could be the largest player in the competition, standing at 6-5, 330 pounds.

The Bills open their preseason in Indianapolis on Aug. 11, which will be the first test for the players competing for the starting job.

"I'm looking towards going to the preseason games and seeing how they perform in the preseason games, but, right now, it's not solidified from the standpoint that you probably want to be right now."

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